City sees big increase in number of patients receiving key diabetes tests

More patients with diabetes in Bradford city are now receiving all the key tests to make sure their condition is well controlled and help prevent long-term complications.

NHS Bradford City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has made diabetes care and prevention a priority and is working closely with local GP practices to raise awareness of the importance of the tests and help them provide high quality care for almost 8,000 people with diabetes.

Last May only 40% of patients with diabetes were receiving the tests but now almost 65% of patients are having a full annual review. The number of patients has also risen this year as the Bradford Beating Diabetes campaign has led to 402 new people being diagnosed and getting the healthcare they need.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends that all people with diabetes should receive nine key tests, known as the 9 care processes, each year. These important markers help to assess whether diabetes is well controlled and are designed to prevent long-term complications.

The nine key tests include: weight, blood pressure, smoking status, blood glucose levels, kidney function, cholesterol, eye examinations and foot examinations. If left unchecked, diabetes can lead to blindness, kidney failure and increase the risk of developing cardiovascular problems such as heart attack and stroke.

The CCG has involved practices in developing new ways of identifying whether patients are having the nine tests at their annual check-up and helping to make it easier to get them all completed.
This has led to healthcare assistants being trained to do low risk foot assessments in the practice, so the test can be done quicker. Many practices are also being proactive in reminding patients to attend their annual review by phoning or texting them.

Dr Adeel Iqbal, GP lead for long-term conditions at NHS Bradford City CCG, said: “This is really good news as it means more patients are getting the essential care they need to manage their diabetes, stay well and prevent complications.

“It shows what can be achieved when the CCG and practices work together to help improve patient care. This is an excellent start but there is still much work to be done to address diabetes, which is affecting more and more people every year.

“Together with our Bradford Beating Diabetes campaign, we want to prevent as many City patients as we can from developing diabetes, as well as providing excellent care and advice to those who have the condition.”

Bradford Beating Diabetes is amajor awareness campaign to highlight and tackle diabetes in Bradford city. It aims to prevent people at risk from developing the condition as well as support those who have already been diagnosed through healthy lifestyle advice.

GPs are now working hard to identify those at risk and letters have been sent out to more than 2,000 patients, earmarked as having the potential to develop Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease.

If assessed as being at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, these people will be invited to attend Intensive Lifestyle Change Programme (ILCP) sessions, where they will learn about healthy eating, reducing weight and exercise.